Political Roundup: What Japan’s foreign policy shifts mean for New Zealand

Point of Order

  • Geoffrey Miller writes:

Japan is a country on the move.

Since World War II, Tokyo has largely been happy to outsource its security needs to Washington.

But this is now changing to a more equal partnership.

On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called his country’s alliance with the United States ‘stronger than ever’.

For his part, US President Joe Biden, who hosted Kishida at the White House, said the United States was ‘fully, thoroughly, completely committed to the alliance’ with Japan.

The words from Kishida and Biden might seem like the usual diplomatic niceties, but behind the smiles from the two leaders was a quantum shift in Tokyo’s foreign policy positioning.

The war’s legacy and subsequent 1947 pacifist constitution help to explain why Japan has until now preferred its military to keep a low profile – a deal which has come at a bargain price.

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